41 In Korean learning journey (:/ Open Thread

Open Thread #3 Have you given up on Korean?

Time for another open thread! You guys know that it’s really open, so you don’t HAVE to talk about the given topic right?

6th year into learning Korean, I’ve met / know of many learners that kinda stopped / gave up halfway. I’m glad I’m still going strong, and I think I can safely say that I have NEVER thought of giving up on Korean before.

Although I can’t say the same for Japanese.

It’s not like I made an active decision to give it up, but somehow it just fades off my radar after awhile. And I think it’s time for me to revisit Japanese soon, before it really completely fades off my radar again -.-

So, wondering if you guys can share your experiences on this.

Have you ever thought of giving up on Korean?

Or did you ever give up on Korean? What made you do so? How did you feel? Did you come back again? How it is like?

Of course I really hope that everyone here won’t give up on Korean ^^

I hope that everyone can share their thoughts, and perhaps sharing and reading about others’ experiences can help a little on your learning journey too!

 

 

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41 Comments

  • Reply
    Andy
    15 January, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    If you make friendships and relationships with people that you only speak Korean with, then you’ll never end up giving up on it because you’ll always be using it in some way. 🙂

    • Reply
      alodia
      15 January, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      I guess you’re probably right and that’s the reason why I’ve never thought of giving up on Korean. I guess I can never really see where can I use my Japanese. I’m trying to motivate (aka bribe) myself that there’s a really nice Japanese book that I can read if I learn Japanese, but I guess my subconscious know that my Japanese friend can always simply translate it to me in Korean. ^^a

      • Reply
        hangukdrama
        17 January, 2013 at 9:46 PM

        i need Japanese friends D:

  • Reply
    alodia
    15 January, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    NEVER! I never thought of giving up learning Korean.

    But Mandarin and Japanese are totally different stories. I tried Japanese, gave up on it completely. Tried Mandarin. Liked it. Then gave up halfway through it. Tried Japanese again and this time I exerted real effort in exposing myself to the language and diligently studying everyday and was kinda doing fine with it BUT Christmas break came and it broke my momentum. Now I feel like giving up once more since I can’t remember a thing anymore AGAIN! ㅠㅠ And as much as I want to re-start learning it, the thought of not understanding a thing AGAIN and having to start again from the very beginning kinda scares and puts me off. ㅠㅠ I never felt this way in Korean. Momentum, broken or not, never cease. ^^

    • Reply
      Anno
      15 January, 2013 at 5:16 PM

      Yes I think this is definitely true. I also have very close friends who I wouldn’t really be able to communicate with if I stopped learning or forgot my Korean.

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 January, 2013 at 9:47 PM

      same! I cant even count how many times my momentum was broken for Japanese D:

  • Reply
    Koreanlearner
    15 January, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    So far I haven’t thought of giving up Korean, but other languages yes. I didn’t bother with German after doing my school exams. As a science major back in my high school days I could choose to go on with only one language beyond English so I picked French which appealed more to me (and I never really became great friends with the German grammar).
    I had some beginner troubles with Korean, though; not being able to find classes, not knowing how to measure my progress as a self-learner before finding out about the existence of TOPIK, not knowing which material to use. It took me a few months to get started and those required a lot of determination.
    I did have a moment of doubt at some point before I was all set. At first you tend to hear and read only about good things, but there was a point when I just happened to come across less sympathetic views online, and in those moments I had to remind myself that every coutry houses people you would like to socialise with and those you wouln’t like to, and some are louder than others online. As long as the scale tips in the right direction, which you know it does if you have Korean friends.

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 January, 2013 at 9:48 PM

      Agree! The start is always the most difficult but once you get the hang of things, you will progress more smoothly.

  • Reply
    Darya
    15 January, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Well, I can’t say I didn’t thought about giving up Korean. I did. But every time I thought about it it just doesn’t seem possible. It’s my main interest in life, I practise Korean on daily basis while no one is forcing me to do so.
    I love learning languages,especially Korean (probbly because of the HUGE cultural gap.ㅋㅋㅋ.)
    Learning English didn’t require much form me, even when I learned Dutch It wasn’t too hard than English though and I still need a refresh every now and then.
    I don’t think Korean is easy, and yes, I sometimes feel frusterated. BUT after all this is what we call a challange. One that is , interesting, fun, and above all makes you realize that there is another side of reality, and you discover a whole new world out there that you ought to expolre !!
    I feel that learning Korean is my nature, not an obligation.
    *******************!!! 화이팅 !!!************** 😀

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 January, 2013 at 9:49 PM

      ㅎㅎㅎ yes, Korean is like such an integrated part of my life now that I can’t do without it. I’ll feel so strange if I spent one day without listening to any Korean.

  • Reply
    faeleia
    15 January, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    it’s not like i feel like giving up.. but it’s just a sense of fading off. Then i see it again, i get excited though. So i don’t think that’s really giving up. I gave up higher japanese to JLPT1 because i didn’t see the need to learn all those professional terms. I wanted to understand mass media. I got what I wanted. It’s probably the same for Korean too.

    Until I can forsee myself working in a foreign company, I don’t think I’ll go all the way. I want it to be fun, and not a chore.

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 January, 2013 at 9:50 PM

      yeah Japanese kinda faded off for me for the past few weeks ><;; Need to get back on track again. It's good that you know your goals!

  • Reply
    Piglet
    16 January, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    Hi everyone, this would be my first time positing here. Usually I just read hangukdrama post to encourage myself to continue. In 2009 I started learning Japanese and continue for 1 year as I was in Japan studying abroad at the time, when I came back to the states I stopped completely. In 2010 for four months I went to South Korea to do another study abroad and at the time I decided to do an intensive course level 1. My study abroad school in S. Korea is called Chung Ang, which is where they recorded some of the scenes for My Girlfriend is a Gumiho and Playful kiss, actually I was there at the time. I didn’t get to see Lee Seung Gi as there were too many people blocking my view, however I did get a straight view of Kim Hyun Joon. Sorry I side tracked, upon returning to the states I stopped my Korean study as well. About 3 months ago I resumed my Japanese and Korean, my Japanese is still at an intermediate level as I had stopped studying, as for my Korean it is still at the beginning level. I was thinking back and thought why did I ever stopped, I would have been really good by now if I put in the same effort as Hangukdrama did. So every time I feel like giving up I would read your blog for inspiration. Currently learning other languages on the sides as well, but my main two are Japanese and Korean.

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 January, 2013 at 9:52 PM

      Hi Piglet!

      Thanks for commenting 😀 Will love to see you here more often! Sometimes stopping is something that we can’t really help, but if you put in the effort, I’m sure you can get back on track again! Reading this blog shows that you are still very much interested in the languages!! 😛

  • Reply
    Dusky
    16 January, 2013 at 1:33 AM

    I never thought of giving up on learning Korean. Every other language I tried learning it just…never worked out to say the least. Not because I didn’t really have in interest in it. It’s just these random problems would always occur and prevent me from studying. It was like I wasn’t meant to study those languages. With Korean I did, and still do, have a few problems but it’s not something that’s preventing me from studying. I think just having interest in Korea (the history, culture, etc.) makes a difference as well. It gives me a reason to work though my problems and keep studying. 😀

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 January, 2013 at 9:53 PM

      agreeed!! Most of the time it’s not an active decision but it just… happens. Maybe the key is really to integrate the language into our lives!

  • Reply
    Regan
    16 January, 2013 at 2:12 AM

    I’ve never thought about giving up on studying Korean, but I do sometimes feel discouraged that I’ll never become fluent. Whenever I start thinking about how much I still have to learn, it just starts to feel impossible sometimes. After 2 years of study I can still only understand the most basic of conversations if the people are speaking slowly, but I feel like I should probably be at an intermediate level by now. I get frustrated at times, but I keep studying because I just like the Korean language so much. I think it also helps me to read blogs like this one. 🙂

    • Reply
      risanity
      16 January, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      Hi Regan..I totally understand you. Lately I’ve been feelin discouraged myself. I started off learning Korean on my own before I decided to put myself in the country for 7 mths and did some intensive studying at Kyung Hee. Now that I’m back to studying on my own, I miss the opportunity to mingle and just practicing the language with the locals n foreign friends. I felt that during that 7 mths my language probably improve more than it is right now. Because I was practically in a position where Im forced to speak n think in Korean. Nowadays, I’m mostly communicating in Korean via text msging only. No one close to me knows the language for me to converse with face to face. Learning gets a little bit tough and then that’s when the discouraging feeling kicks in. Nonetheless, not gonna give it up! I still find the language fun! So be it 2 years or 10 years…I will never give it up! So cheer up Regan cos one day, we’ll get to where we want to be. ^^

      • Reply
        hangukdrama
        17 January, 2013 at 9:57 PM

        hehe i know how you feel. It’s very different but keep yourself immersed. I don’t communicate in Korean at all these days too! 😀

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 January, 2013 at 9:56 PM

      Don’t think so far ahead!! Language learning is such a hugeee task that I doubt there’s any end to it. We can only get better and sometimes I don’t even feel like I’m fluent even after 5 years of learning. Focusing on the road just ahead is more important. (: Everyone has a different pace of learning and sometimes you progress really fast while other times, it’s like a neverending stagnant period. but if you are consistent, your efforts will be rewarded! One day, you will suddenly think back and realized “omg i didn’t used to understand this but now i do!!!”

  • Reply
    skrwitch
    16 January, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    Not once have I thought about giving up Korean. But when I was learning Japanese and I gave up loads of times and then ending up giving up to start learning Korean. This is why after I learn Korean, I’m going to learn Mandarin instead of Japanese.

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 January, 2013 at 9:58 PM

      hahaha Japanese and me…. D: Have fun with Mandarin! I’ll be here if you need any help!

  • Reply
    Archana
    16 January, 2013 at 5:14 AM

    I think I gave up actively “studying” Korean in the traditional sense a long time ago. Haha. I just can’t sit down with a textbook and read grammar rules and do exercises. But all of my recreational activities have something to do with Korean (reading webcomics, listening to music, reading novels, etc.), so it’s never off my radar.

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 January, 2013 at 9:58 PM

      hahaha you progress so much without actively “studying” 😛 Great that you found your optimal method!

  • Reply
    JW
    16 January, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    I’ve never “given up” on Korean nor had the thought to give up.

    I may have had to take hiatuses because of certain things in life that caused me not to have time to study. But it was never because I didn’t have interest in Korean anymore. I’m kind of going through a time like that right now, but I know that when things settle down I will be right back at it again. 🙂

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 January, 2013 at 9:59 PM

      Just keep yourself immersed with dramas/music (:

  • Reply
    EZT!.
    16 January, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    YUP!. In fact I’m thinking of quitting right now, funny that you mention it…

    I used to learn Korean because I liked it but now everyone’s picking it up and I am starting to feel it’s overdone. But despite it being more common here, I still can’t seem to find someone at my level [which is difficult to practice/improve]. In other words, I think I’m stuck in a limbo. 🙁

    Can’t seem to give up though, keep getting motivated. 반반~~ *shrugs*

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 January, 2013 at 10:01 PM

      DON’T QUIT. hahahaha I get how you feel about it being overpopular or something 😛 I don’t have anyone to practice with too but I still got by fine. (: try to challenge yourself and go for harder materials!

  • Reply
    Christian Blair
    16 January, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    I haven’t been learning Korean long, so I can’t say i’ve given up on it, or even thought about it yet, but I do get discouraged sometimes when I feel like i’m not progressing fast enough. It’s a flaw of mine, but I tend to compare myself to others, and when I see others learning Korean at a faster rate than me, not that i’m competitive, but it makes me feel like i’m lacking in some way. And other times I wonder why i’m learning Korean, and not say Chinese, usually this is when I get a little tired of Korean culture and won’t watch any Korean movies or dramas for a few days, but ultimately I come right back to it. I plan on sticking with it even though I sometimes get these feelings, learning Korean is enjoyable, it gives me focus, a goal to work towards, and I feel more connected to a part of the world different from my own.

    • Reply
      alodia
      16 January, 2013 at 1:17 PM

      I also feel that Korean makes me focus.

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 January, 2013 at 10:02 PM

      I know what you mean. Sometimes I’m also discouraged by the fact that I may lose out to those who have the luxury of learning Korean in Korea. But I’ll just be spurred to work even harder and beat them hahahaha. Stick to it, and keep going! Your efforts will be rewarded! (: and keep those videos coming!

  • Reply
    Sojin
    16 January, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    I’m not sure if it counts as giving up or not, because I still aim and use Korean everyday.
    But I’m at an intermediate stage where I can’t feel any improvement. I never see myself as giving up on Korean in the sense that I won’t be using it, but I can see myself becoming stagnent and not improving.
    Being in Korea, a lot of people have told me my Korean has improved since I’ve come here, but I can’t feel it for myself. Although one of my Korean friends came from my home country and when I picked up the phone, he thought he had the wrong number becuase I sounded like a Korean. ㅋㅋㅋ It’s happened more than once too, so I was pretty excited over that ㅋㅋㅋ
    That being said, in this stage, I don’t feel motivated to study because I can get by. But at the same time, my relationships are sometimes stifled because my Korean doesn’t move past the average conversation levels. And I really only know things that pertain to me, so it’s hard for me to understand when somebody’s talking about their own studies/job, etc.

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 January, 2013 at 10:04 PM

      intermediate is a looooong stage. I did have periods of stagnancy too but it will pass! hehe your efforts are already paying off!! Just keep going and you will be surprised at how much you can understand one day.

    • Reply
      alodia
      17 January, 2013 at 10:47 PM

      I sooo understand!
      I’m still far from being good, but I can now get by and carry conversations and express myself with the other party understanding me (despite errors here and there). So sometimes I feel “lazy” because I can get by.
      So despite feeling happy for “getting by”, I also like feeling frustrated sometimes. Times when I can’t understand a thing from what I’m watching/reading. Or times when I can’t keep up with a group conversation among Korean. Or times when I can’t express myself completely. Only when I feel frustrated over these circumstances that I feel a sudden surge of motivation to pick up my textbook and other study materials and continue with my lessons. 🙂
      Good luck to us! ^^

  • Reply
    weixin
    17 January, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Yes! ㅜㅜ And not too long ago, in fact. It’s not that I wanted to give up Korean, but more of like “why am I even studying Korean so hard? What do I get from all this??” I guess we all have times when we doubt ourselves eh. My initial aim was to be able to converse with Koreans, but my Korean friends have been busy with exams the last few weeks so I didn’t get to practise. Felt like I suddenly lost direction and purpose, and that I’m just studying for the sake of studying. But after a few days of ignoring my Korean studies, I realized I still get excited when I hear people speaking Korean on the streets (어! 한국사람! -starts eavesdropping HAHA) and figured I can’t give it up so easily. So yup, my aim for now is a TOPIK level 4 in April! ^^

    • Reply
      alodia
      17 January, 2013 at 4:50 PM

      Haha! My favorite hobby – eavesdropping Koreans! I know eavesdropping is not a very polite thing to do but I hope they’ll understand (they don’t need to find out anyway). 🙂
      Good luck for Level 4! I’ll take the October one. 🙂

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 January, 2013 at 10:06 PM

      noooooo cannot give up hahahaha. yup i doubt myself all the time also ><; heh maybe you can try to challenge yourself with harder materials? read your books! 😛 I am always excited at hearing Korean on the streets lol. 😛 we are the same hahaha. Good luck for TOPIK!! I'll take the April exam too!

  • Reply
    Jewel
    17 January, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    into my 2nd year of learning korean and I am currently tackling intermediate topik papers and i have to stop at almost every other question to check out the naver dictionary and i still struggle a bit to write out compos.can never seem to churn out 400-600 words for the essay section but i’m not giving up though.currently working through the yonsei reading 4 and i am finding it a bit of a challenge.my progress is quite stagnant lately too.like during my 1st year i picked up a lot of stuff and now my speed is like slower>< hope i will not come to a day that i will give up learning korean like what i did with japanese

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      17 January, 2013 at 10:34 PM

      keep going! the intermediate stage is full of fast progress and also stagnant periods! Don’t give up (:

  • Reply
    afoodaficionado
    18 January, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    I totally agree, since I have alot of Korean friends and Kakaotalk (unfortunately all are back or going back to Korea) it helps me have some presence in my life. I work full time and so socially use it for Kakaotalk and watching dramas/listening to Kpop.

    I am Chinese American so I speak Cantonese with my family. Mandarin I have not studied since College but randomly will listen to music/dramas if my mom says something I HAVE to watch. I have a Taiwanese friend I practice with here and there but she is returning to Taiwan so.

    I also studied Japanese and no longer use it. Very rare and when I do Korean words came up not Japanese when I tried talking with my Japanese friend’s mom last year. Aiyah!

    I studied Vietnamese intensely as an experiment and did well, but since then I never use it, listen to it and it has now left me saying-Thank you, Please a bowl of Pho and what time is it. Very sad indeed.

    My oldest learned language is Spanish and rarely use it, but I was able to communicate when I was in Mexico a few years back.

    As for Korean I am not as dedicated as some people here, I am a casual learner and never really set out to learn Korean until after watching a few years worth of dramas I picked up some of the language. (How I got my Cantonese after really only knowing Toisanese). Then took some adult ed learned Hangul but never got a rigorious course to be tested or have to write well. So my spelling and reading are lackluster. Other than a few phrases I can write well it is my listening is the best and speaking is so so. (I found while traveling South Korea last year for 2 weeks it was understandable at least. PHEW I got to where I needed to go and read the menus all by myself. Plus had some cool conversations with cab drivers and restaurant ajummas. too.)

    Thanks Shanna for all your hard work! I was bummed I could not meet up with you when I was in Seoul! Oh well! Cheers from Boston!

  • Reply
    afoodaficionado
    18 January, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    Drat it. I wrote a long post and I think I did not post it.
    Firstly thanks for this blog. Also I was sad I could not meet you when I was in Seoul last May/June visiting from Boston.

    Not going to retype what I wrote as it was LONG.

    In a nutshell:
    1) Not giving up Korean any time soon even though Korean friends are no longer here. I still listen to KPOP and watch Korean Dramas/shows it helps. Kakao in Korean. My level is iffy as I never took real classes that had homework or quizzes. Adult ed and free classes that show I have basic knowledge. Reading and Writing are horrible but listening is the best and speaking is second for me.

    One thing I know is I can be understand though my Korean is far from being extremely good. The ajummas and taxi cab drivers were all nice in the rural areas. I had great simple conversations with everyone. Felt grateful and had to ask people to help me call for cabs for me. So kind, friendly and hospitable especially outside of Seoul. (Seoul to me is NYC.)

    2) Chinese -Mandarin learned in College and use when with my Taiwanese friend we do CHINGLISH. But have not studied it since then. Occasional drama and when we were in China I got around.

    3) Vietnamese-did intenese 12 weeks and could read/write and speak but lost it all. Now only can say hello, thanks, and please give me a bowl of pho as well as what time is it?

    4)Japanese took in College. Never use now closest is reading English Manga (or watching Anime with Japanese but in english subs). When I last tried to talk to my friend’s mom I only could think of Korean words not the Japanese words. Uh Oh!

    5) Cantonese never learned in book/school but from HK dramas. (Learned Toisanese first) But speak it due to my family.
    6) Spanish first learned language, fared well in Mexico but barely use it.

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